When you’re in a long-term relationship, conflict is inevitable. No couple is going to live harmoniously for the entire duration of their relationship. Sometimes, couples disagree and inevitably over the years people change. And that’s OK, until it’s not.

If you’re finding that the conflict between you and your spouse or partner is becoming more prevalent, it could be a sign that something in the relationship needs to be resolved.

Read on for five useful ways to manage relationship conflict if it’s become problematic.

Be open to reasonable compromise 

We’ve all heard the relationship mantra, ‘it’s all about compromise’. And to an extent, that’s true. No two people are ever going to have the exact same interests, wants and needs all of the time. So you need to be able to find a middle ground that makes you both happy enough. 

If you’re not willing to budge, that’s going to cause tension. No-one wants to feel like they’re making one-sided sacrifices. It’s important to be open to compromise so that both of you can get the very best out of your relationship moving forward.  

It goes without saying though, that any compromise should be reasonable. It’s about having equal footing in the relationship, not disregarding your needs altogether.

Keep your temper during disagreements

When you’re arguing, emotions can run high and the conversation can get heated. The reality is, if you lose your temper during conversation, it’s going to be much more difficult to get your point across or listen to your partner. That means you’ll be having a heated argument that won’t hold any value to either of you. 

The problem won’t be resolved and the misunderstanding will stay intact. Trying your best to stay calm during disagreements will increase your chances of communicating meaningfully.

Communicate openly with each other.

We’ve said this before, but it’s always worth reiterating. Open and honest communication is important in every relationship. If you don’t communicate, your partner won’t be able to tell what’s going on and they won’t know how best to react or what compromises to offer. You need to make sure you’ve created a safe environment where you and your partner can openly express your feelings and/or problems. 

This could even act as a preventative measure for future conflict, as well as resolving any heated arguments currently bubbling away beneath the surface. 

It’s also important to talk about the positives of the relationship, so no one feels like they are doing everything wrong. Otherwise, that could be counterproductive. If you’re struggling to find any positives, then that in itself is a massive red flag when it comes to the future of your relationship. 

Get to the root of the problem.

Sometimes, the argument about not doing the dishes is not really about the dishes at all. Very often, it goes far deeper than that. If you’re frequently bickering with your partner, it might be because there’s an underlying issue that’s not being resolved. 

Getting to the root of that issue could release the tension, and stop future arguments from happening.

Look at it from their point of view.

Trying to understand the problem from your partner’s perspective can bring to light anything you might have been doing wrong or something you may have misunderstood.  

Putting yourself in their shoes will demonstrate that you care, and that you want to solve whatever problems there are. Practicing that change in perspective can be useful for any sort of relationship, be it with your friends, your colleagues or your spouse. 

If you need advice and guidance around the breakdown of your relationship and the options available to you, then Harrogate Family Law can help. Just get in touch with us today to find out more about our services.